Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

CTH K, 0.35 mi. S of jct. with Limery Rd.

National or State Register of Historic Places
CTH K, 0.35 mi. S of jct. with Limery Rd. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Vertefeuille, Francois, House
Reference Number:93000142
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):CTH K, 0.35 mi. S of jct. with Limery Rd.
County:Crawford
City/Village:
Township:Prairie du Chien
SUMMARY
VERTEFEUILLE, FRANCOIS, HOUSE
Highway K, Town of Prairie du Chien, Crawford
Architects: unknown
Date of construction: circa 1810
The Francois Vertefeuille House, constructed in the French-Canadian manner called piece sur piece en coulisse, is one of the few surviving examples of this type of architecture in the United States. This log construction technique was documented as the distinctive method in which the pioneer French-Canadian residents of Prairie du Chien constructed their homes. Consequently this property is a fine representation of the French-Canadian cultural heritage in the United States.

The Francois Vertefeuille House was constructed by people and for people who were dependent on the fur trade for their existence. Therefore, it is a physical testimony to the powerful economic enticements to harvest otter, beaver and fox furs from the Great Lakes region and the upper Mississippi, a commercial enterprise that spurred French exploration in North America. Vertefeuille himself was from French-speaking Canada and moved to Prairie du Chien in 1809 to engage in the fur trade. Furthermore, the house is evidence of a second French culture, several generations removed from Canada, which flourished in the upper Mississippi Valley in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The original house, constructed between 1810 and 1820, was composed of a single room on the first floor and a second floor loft. With the addition, constructed between 1820 and 1825 after Francois Vertefeuille acquired the house, one room was added to each floor. Both sections are constructed with hewn timbers in the piece sur piece en coulisse style. Unlike traditional notched corner construction, the Vertifeuille House also makes use of hewn log posts, notched with a continuous vertical groove. Shorter horizontal logs, with tongue-like mortises on the ends, are fitted into this groove to make a strong joint. Once common to French Canadian settlements, surviving examples like the Vertefeuille House are exceptionally rare today.

The Vertefeuille House is privately owned, please respect the privacy and rights of its owner.

PROPERTY FEATURES
Period of Significance:1825-18491800-1824
Area of Significance:Architecture
Area of Significance:Ethnic Heritage/European
Area of Significance:Exploration/Settlement
Applicable Criteria:Architecture/Engineering
Applicable Criteria:Event
Historic Use:Domestic: Single Dwelling
Architectural Style:Other
Resource Type:Building
Architect:Unknown
DESIGNATIONS
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:03/18/1993
State Register Listing Date:01/22/1993
NUMBER OF RESOURCES WITHIN PROPERTY
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
RECORD LOCATION
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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